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Comparing Dante's Inferno And Hamlet

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While the allegory “Inferno” by Dante and the play “Hamlet” by Shakespeare may seem like very different pieces, they both touch on the same central topic of sin. Dante uses a journey through the underworld that displays the punishments received by sinners in the afterlife, while Shakespeare shows the sinners before their death. Thus, both describe the widespread presence of sin and the power it has to consume someone. Dante and Hamlet start their stories out very similar-both are in the midsts of dark periods in their lives and in desperate need of intervention before they fall off the deep end. The only difference is that Dante had Virgil to lead him back to the light while Hamlet had no one. Due to this, by the end of the story, Dante became…show more content…
The only difference is that Hamlet is the sin happening right now while Inferno is what happens to those sinners after death-almost as if Inferno is a sequel to Hamlet. To display this, we created a drawing that places each of the main characters in Hamlet into one of the circles of hell from Inferno. Gertrude lands in the second circle for lust due to marrying her dead husband’s brother. Laertes ends up in the 5th circle of hell for anger due to his desperate need to avenge his father and sister’s death by plotting to kill Hamlet. Ophelia lands in the middle ring of the 7th circle for suicide. Hamlet lands in the 7th circle as well, but in the outer ring for murdering Polonius, Claudius, Rosencrantz, Guildenstern, and Laertes. After his contradicting speech to Laertes and sending someone to spy on him, Polonius ends up in the 6th pouch of the 8th circle for hypocrisy. Claudius ends up in the “Caina” round of the 9th circle for killing his brother. Lastly, since Horatio seems to be the only loyal and moral character who has a tendency to sympathize with sinners, we made him Dante. Both Inferno and Hamlet focus on the main idea of sin and how it consumes people. However, Inferno describes the punishment sinners face in the afterlife and how it can easily be avoided with reason and morality, while Hamlet shows what happens when those are absent in
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